Thursday, June 17, 2010

Louis VM's writes

Louis did not visit the horses on the trip so we asked him to write for the blog. We think he has done a fine job:

This is the story of someone who had to spend one and a half hours writing about the trip in Normandy. Normandy is a place for people who are very interested in history because it is one of the many deeply historic sites across Europe. Some of the many places that are of deep interest to those history lovers are “The American War Cemetery”. This cemetery consists of just under ten-thousand dead American soldiers who gave their lives for all of us today. As well as Christians buried there, there were also Jews buried in the cemetery with the sign of the star above them. This American War Cemetery is situated on Omaha and it was this beach that suffered the most loss to the Allies where they lost ten-thousand soldiers made up of Americans and the English.

Another site that is of historic evidence is the batterie guns that are situated along the whole of the coast of Normandy and these guns could shoot to an almighty distance of 12 miles out to sea. Unfortunately these guns belonged to the German forces so it made it very difficult for the Allies to reach the French coast because at least half of the Ally forces were wiped out even before they reached land. These battery guns were really one of main strength of the German Army. But eventually the Allied forces did manage to break though the German forces and capture more than half of the battery guns and the English did this through countless and relentless charges at the German lines

Posts here from me

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boy's thoughts on the first few days

On Wednesday we visited the Pegasus memorial museum on the river Orne. This is where the original bridge was kept. It was an excellent presentation, with amazing detail. The nice tour guide told and showed us that three gliders set out to capture what is now\ known as Pegasus Bridge. The plan went very well except for the fact that one glider got lost along the way and when to a completely different Nazi occupied bridge which, because their mission was to capture a bridge, they captured. This could be forgiven because it was at night a many Nazi bridges looked the same. She also told us that only one person was killed during this daring raid. Next she took us onto the original bridge. This was ridden with bullet and places where the explosives from the Nazis were kept there where also many wrecked structures of the gliders which had crashed, trying to capture the bridge. After we looked at the structure at the bridge we went and had fizzy drinks at the local cafe. Then we went to a fascinating museum which the whole 2nd world war into context. We also watched a fascinating film about the 2nd world war. Then we went back to the hotel and the park, and then we watched the football. It was a great day.
By William silver, Matty Swycher, John Joe Lafferty, nick Donohue

Mr Boardman's thoughts.....

First of all many apologies for those of you who have been trying to log on to the blog I set up for the trip. Unfortunately problems only came to light when some of the parents tried to access it this week.
Secondly well done for getting to this blog! My intension is to let the students post here over the next few days as well as posting some photographs. I will also continue to post to the twitter page. Our name is Thehallnormandy.
Yesterday (Monday) started with a visit to Arromanches Museum for the Landing of Allied Forces. We were given an excellent talk on the creation of the Mulberry B Artificial Harbour. I know that the boys found the discussion of the engineering involved very interesting. We then visited Longes Sur Mere which was the position for the German Gun placements. Again I felt that the boys saw History come alive.
After lunch we arrived at The American Cemetery at Omaha where 10 000 fallen American Soldiers are buried. This was a moving and important experience for all of us.
Tuesday has been a real great day, less busy but no less interesting. First off we visited The Pegasus Museum which commemorates the crucial Allied taking of The Pegasus Bridge over the Orne. The presentation there was excellent, with detail of the glider landings (amazingly the British Troops managed to land within 45 yards of the bridge without being detected). We then had a drink at the cafe on the bridge which is still owned by the family who owned it at D-Day.

Some photographs from the first day

Monday, March 29, 2010

World poipulation

Sam D. sent me his thoughts on world population, thanks Sam:

World Population Crisis

There is little doubt that our world population is increasing rapidly. At the death of Christ, the world population is estimated to have been 300,000,000.In 1910, the world population was approximately 1,750,000,000. Now it is around 6,900,000,000. Whilst this brings numerous advantages, the disadvantages of this amazing increase outweigh the disadvantages. Population is hard to control in any respect. For most governments, population control is not an area of discussion. The people of most governments do not want to be told how many children they are permitted to have. Most governments have no means of controlling population anyway. In my opinion, almost all problems we face today would not exist if the world population was substantially smaller. I am not suggesting we pull out straws and kill six billion people, but merely expressing the opinion that if current increases continue, every problem we face will become worse.
Scientists at the University of Utah have announced that 1.2 million years ago, human would be classed by us today as an endangered species. There were so few of us that our development was much slower than today. However as living became easier with the introduction of agriculture and livestock, human numbers rapidly increased as threats that would be faced by most animals disappeared. This increases in numbers undoubtedly speeded up the course of the development of technology: the more people there are the greater the chance is that one will make a breakthrough.
However, population must have a limit. As population increases, problems emerge. Food shortages can lead to a decrease in the quality of life. Increased conflict can lead to strife. And, as we are seeing today, carbon emissions can rise to an uncontrollable level and change the earth’s climate. In short, overpopulation may mean that people start needing more than Earth can provide or we can make. There will no doubt be a shortage of land for farming, grazing and housing and a shortage of water for irrigation and drinking.
China and India are the countries with the largest populations. However, between the two, there is one huge difference. India’s population is spiraling out of control: it is due to overtake China in terms of population by 2040. This is due to China’s policy that every family with just one child will have free education and health care for that child (However, 10 women on average will still have 17 babies). This encourages people to have fewer children and this is most definitely needed: 20 in every 100 people are Chinese, that’s 1 in 5. India, on the other hand, is in a very different situation. On average, every ten women will have 28 children and there are no government attempts to control population and 17 in every 100 people are Indian. These figures contrast with the fact that less than 1 in every 100 people are from the UK*.
In conclusion, the world would be a much better place if populations decreased over the next few centuries. All of our problems would become less severe and possibly even disappear over time and the world would be a happier place with less to worry about.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Thames Eel Population Suddenly Crashes - Benedict George 8B

The Thames Estuary, previously considered ‘biologically dead’ in the 1960s, was repopulated by European eels and flounders. That population grew continuously over the next forty or so years. Their population was examined and recorded by the Zoological Society through trapping and releasing. However, after decades of stability, we face a disaster. Four years ago, in 2005, there were 1,500 eels in the Thames. Last year, there were only 50. As we live in London I have chosen this topic because it is a local economic and, perhaps more importantly, ecological disaster.
This dramatic drop in the eel population could bring huge consequences, not just for eels but for other species that live in the Thames estuary and for humans as well. Jellied eels have been an old east London dish since the 18th century. Commercial catching of eels is now near impossible and so, more expensively of course, eels must be imported from Northern Ireland and Holland.
There are birds which feed on eels and there are small fish which are fed on by eels in the Thames. These, of course, with the crashing eel population, are bound to experience huge fluctuations in population. This will have a disastrous impact on the Thames estuary’s food chain.
Eels migrate for up to three years, as larvae from the Sargasso Sea, via European rivers, where they spend up to 20 years, after which they cross the Atlantic to spawn and die. It is thought that the sudden drop in their population must be caused either by a diversion – the eels simply skipping their stay in the Thames Estuary each year, or by artificial intrusion caused by humans such as dams, or by new parasitic diseases or by changes in oceanic current due to climate change. The Thames is not alone - other rivers in Britain have also had a reduction in their eel population.

Whatever the cause, one thing is certain. It will be a disaster for all concerned if the eels die out completely.
Want to read more?
BBC news website
Telegraph online

Well done Benedict, an interesting and useful written piece. Good links to science!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Horror in Haiti - James Martland

An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale, hit Haiti in the Caribbean on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 just before 5 p.m. local time. The effects of the earthquake have been more severe than they might have been due to the proximity of the epicentre to the capital city, Port-au-Prince. The epicentre was only 10 miles southwest of the capital city. The earthquake is the worst in Haiti for 200 years. There were many severe aftershocks, which meant that the people who did survive were frightened that another earthquake or quakes were following and causing further damage to buildings.
The actual quake occurred along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault, a virtually immovable rock that runs from Montego Bay in Jamaica to the southern part of the island of Hispaniola, which Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic. The fault was pushed by the Caribbean Plate, which moves about 20 millimeters east each year and on this occasion, it moved the fault line. The movement happened six miles underground, which made the earthquake even bigger. The fault is similar to the San Andreas fault in California.
Many residents in Haiti live in tin shacks on the side of steep hills, so the damage the earthquake did was huge. However, the quake not only destroyed the poorer shanty buildings, but also destroyed much stronger structures, including hospitals, schools and the presidential palace. Three million people are now without shelter and temperatures during the days are extremely hot. The president himself is currently living at the airport. No one knows how many people have died, but estimates range from 30 to 50,000 and maybe even as high as 100,000. “Everybody is just totally, totally freaked out and shaken,” Henry Bahn, an American official visiting Haiti, told The Associated Press. “The sky is just gray with dust.”
Without this earthquake, Haiti had problems, dire poverty, political coups and fighting and by the end of 2008, four hurricanes had hit the island and flooded whole towns, knocked out bridges and left the people in a desperate condition. They are therefore less able to cope with this latest disaster.
Foreign aid is being organised and Britain, America, China, France, Mexico and many other countries have pledged money, medical supplies and food. Unfortunately, the port is not functioning and communications are down, so it has proved very difficult to get these supplies into Haiti. Many people have reached the nearby Dominican Republic, but are struggling to get into Haiti. As a result, the people are dying unnecessarily, as there are two few doctors and supplies. The injured are lying next to the dead. 7000 people were buried in one mass grave today, which is Friday.

Well done James. He used the BBC website and the telegraph website.
Also look at this map from the BBC WEBSITE

Thursday, November 26, 2009

8B Survey Monkey

Please fill in the Survey ONCE. Please give this a lot of thought before you answer. The results are anonomous and confidential

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hazards in the news this weekend

(Map from BBC news website)
Two things that caught my interest this week were the dust storm in Sydney. Want to know more then CBBC newsround has lots of detail and photographs BBC NEWSROUND
Also in the news this week is Tropical Storm Ketsana in the Philippines which has triggered the worst flooding in decades in the capital Manila and nearby provinces.

Footage of the aftermath is on the BBC NEWS WEBSITE.
Look here for pictures
This part of the BBC website has some really good explanations of how hazards like this occur.
Why do you think that Typhoons don't usually occur in the UK. A credit if you come and tell me.
Want to know more about The Philippines then BBC can help you.